General News of Friday, 8 September 2017
Some towing service providers have expressed their dissatisfaction with government’s decision to cancel the mandatory towing levy.
The operators said the new policy, which requires owners of broken down vehicles to pay for towing, will do little to address the spate of road carnage caused by broken down vehicles.
CEO of Ruttchen Trucks Ghana, Evans Dzide told Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story Thursday Ghana’s roads will be sanitized if towing companies are empowered to ferry broken down vehicles out of the roads.
“Per our behaviour, the only way to go about this [towing broken down vehicles] is to put some force [behind it] so that it can work perfectly,” he said.
Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo announced the pay-to-tow policy, which replaces the controversial mandatory towing levy.
A law was passed by Parliament in 2012 and had a five-year fallow period, which ended in 2017.
Under the law, motorists were expected to pay between ¢20 and ¢200, depending on the tonnage of their vehicle.
But the law suffered a backlash, hours after Parliament’s Transport Committee advised its implementation.
After a meeting with towing service providers in Accra, Mr Maafo gave motorists respite when he said they should be responsible for the towing of their vehicles.
“You don’t get a government in Germany or anywhere getting involved in a thing like this,” he said of the mandatory towing policy.
The decision has been lauded by IMANI-Ghana Vice President, Kofi Bentil who was instrumental in the fight against the mandatory towing levy.
“They are on the right path,” he said, adding it should be possible for the police and the various assemblies to handle the issue.
“The police must simply do their job and the district assemblies must do their jobs [and] if we are saying abandoned vehicles [cost human lives] then we must treat it seriously,” he said.
Mr Bentil asked government to review portions of the law on the mandatory towing levy to impose a hefty penalty for persons who abandon their broken down vehicles on the road.
Although he agrees the law needs to be reviewed, Mr Dzide said the police and the assemblies are incapable of handling broken down vehicles on Ghana’s roads.
“In 2007 the police and Assemblies were given towing trucks but what happened,” he asked, adding the country needs the mandatory towing levy.
Another towing service operator, Yaw Opoku Appiah said they have been left with no option but to comply with the new policy, pending a review of the law.
“The law is in limbo [but] it will come back to Parliament for review [and] implementation,” he said.